Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#541 Minnesota Timberwolves vs.
#542 Utah Jazz
Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at 9:10pm EST
Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City
Written by Mark Ruelle

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Two Western Conference playoff hopefuls will do battle on Wednesday night as the Minnesota Timberwolves travel to Utah to take on the Jazz. Minnesota currently sits in the eighth spot in the conference standings as the season nears the all-star break. Meanwhile, the Jazz continue to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot as they sit in tenth place in the standings. The opening tap for this Western Conference battle is schedule for 9:00 PM EST.

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Hanging On

The Minnesota Timberwolves continue to remain in playoff contention despite playing without Karl-Anthony Towns for 36 games and counting this season. In fact, the T-Wolves were 10-11 with Towns in the lineup this season but are two games over .500 without him. This will be the second game of a back-to-back for the T-Wolves after playing at Denver on Tuesday night in the second straight matchup with the Western Conference's leading team. The T-Wolves blasted Denver on Sunday, 128-98, as they benefitted from a Nuggets team playing without reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. With Jokic back in the lineup on Tuesday night, things went quite differently as the Nuggets trounced Minnesota. Anthony Edwards led the Wolves in scoring but the game was out of reach by halftime, with the Nuggets leading by 30. Minnesota is now 6-4 in its last ten games.

In a season that Minnesota was supposed to go against the norm with a twin tower tandem of Towns and newest acquisition Rudy Gobert, the team has instead become a much more traditional team with one post player surrounded by wings. Minnesota is 11th in the NBA in scoring offense thus far. The Wolves are fourth in field goal percentage but just 19th in 3pt field goal percentage. With D'Angelo Russell more of a scorer than a traditional point guard, it isn't much of a surprise that the Wolves are 28th in turnovers. Minnesota has the 19th ranked scoring defense this season and ranks 9th in opposing field goal percentage. The Wolves are 24th in 3pt defense. The Wolves are ranked 23rd in total rebounding.

Key Injuries: Towns remains out with a calf injury. F Kyle Anderson missed last night's game with back spasms and G Austin Rivers will serve the final game of his three-game suspension.

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Not Jazzed about Recent Play

The Utah Jazz come into this game on a two-game losing streak and clinging to the 10th spot in the Western Conference. Utah has now dropped three of its last five games amid rumors of potential trades for some of the team's veterans before the trade deadline Wednesday afternoon. On Monday night, the Jazz took a disheartening loss against a depleted Mavericks roster, 124-111. After jumping out to a 37-25 lead after one quarter, Utah was outscored by 25 points over the final three quarters. Jordan Clarkson led the listless Jazz with 26 points in the loss.

As the Jazz wait to see if the front office makes any major moves, Utah tries to stay afloat in the Western Conference race. Utah comes in with the fourth ranked scoring offense in the NBA. They are just 14th in the NBA in field goal percentage and 11th in 3pt field goal percentage. The Jazz are just 25th in the NBA in turnovers. Defensively, Utah has struggled this season. The team is 21st in scoring defense and 22nd in opponent's field goal percentage. Utah is 16th in 3pt defense on the season as well. They are eighth in the NBA in total rebounding.

PF Jarred Vanderbilt is listed as questionable with a back injury.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


The Timberwolves come into this matchup following a blowout loss, but they were able to rest key players in the one-sided affair. In the second game of back-to-back games this season, Minnesota has gone 5-4. In their last three, however, they are a perfect 3-0. Utah comes in with three losses in its last five games and the Jazz looked like a team that felt the pressure of all the trade-talk in a pitiful effort against an undermanned Mavericks' team on Monday. As of this writing, the Jazz have yet to make a move but keep in mind that any move will result in a reduced roster for this game. Minnesota has one the only matchup in Utah this season.

Take Minnesota.

Prediction: Minnesota

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Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


The T-Wolves play at the sixth fastest pace of play in the NBA and have gone 5-4 to the over in the second game of back-to-backs this season. Additionally, the T-Wolves are 7-3 to the over in their last ten games. Utah is fourth in the NBA in points per game and are 6-4 to the over in its last ten games. Finally, in the three head-to-head matchups thus far, the over has hit in two of three games.

Take the over.

Prediction: Over

Written By Mark Ruelle , "Mark Ruelle"

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.